Tag Archives: Dylan Wiesman

Updating the (very) early Vols’ depth chart after a weekend of practices

Marquez North faced reporters for the first time on Saturday (photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee won’t even put pads on for the first time until Tuesday, so our early spring depth chart is premature at best.

The depth chart is best viewed as a constantly evolving document rather than a permanent fixture. It’s certainly not the “official” depth chart — to the extent that such a thing even exists right now. But it does reflect our best guess based on watching a limited portion of practice and talking to players and coaches.

This depth chart also includes updated numbers and weights from the newly refreshed official roster.

The full numerical roster is on the main tab. Click each tab to the left to see the projected depth chart at each position.

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A few notes on some of the changes:

* I moved Von Pearson up the ladder after he appeared in the “first unit” during drills and had a very solid few days of drills.

With only eight healthy scholarship receivers, all eight would likely play in a hypothetical game if the season started today. The actual depth chart will become more clear as UT decides how it’s going to handle the slot receiver position in the absence of Alton “Pig” Howard. Pearson is getting a look at the spot, but Johnathon Johnson is also likely to play a lot there.

* We now have at least a framework for the offensive line. Dylan Wiesman could still push Kyler Kerbyson for a guard spot, or push Coleman Thomas for a starting job, which would slide Kerbyson to tackle. But because of his versatility, Wiesman would be a good “sixth man.”

* I think we’ll see plenty of cross-training in the secondary this spring, which will make it difficult to sort out where all the pieces will fit until August. I get the sense that coaches really like Emmanuel Moseley, but he will have to gain some pounds this summer.

I did this pre-spring rundown (linked below) with Vince Ferrara a few days ago, but most of it has held up pretty well since the start of spring.

Tennessee football position preview: Offensive line starting anew, but Marcus Jackson could help ease transition

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The first in a series of position-by-position reviews of the Tennessee football team with an eye toward the start of spring practice in three months.

Antonio “Tiny” Richardson opted to leave early for the NFL (photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — It’s appropriate to begin our series of offseason previews with the offensive line. Perhaps no other position will have a bigger impact on the Vols’ success or failure in 2014.

In 2013, the Vols not only had five experienced starters, but they had five players who had worked together as a unit for at least two years.

The Vols are losing all five starters, who accounted for roughly 92 percent of all snaps taken this year. The potential replacements are green.

The offense might not have been as prolific as hoped, but the line helped power a running game that kept UT afloat when other options failed. At least three of the linemen will be in the NFL next year.

The line was also remarkably durable. Ja’Wuan James set records for longevity. None of this teammates missed any significant time this year.

As you can see from the chart below, the Vols are replacing a lot of starts and a lot of combined experience.

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Tennessee football practice: Goodbye Daniel McCullers, Hello Dan McCullers


KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — The pre-practice stretch period is a time when Butch Jones usually imparts serious messages. So there was a look of mild concern among players when he announced, “I want you to know, I cut somebody today.”

He was met by silence.

“Do you know who I cut?”

More silence.

“Look around and see who’s missing.”

Finally, players caught on. No. 98 Daniel McCullers was gone.

In his place, was No. 63.

“I want everyone to welcome No. 63, Dan McCullers to the team,” Jones said.

Everyone started clapping. The media put down their rosters and stopped  hunting for a missing player.

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Tennessee football practice: Vols emphasize ‘great efforts’ in Western Kentucky prep


KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Butch Jones was in comedian mode on Tuesday afternoon, and UT linebacker A.J. Johnson was the subject of his barbs.

You see, Western Kentucky has an A.J., too. Linebacker Andrew Jackson is apparently an NFL prospect, although I had never heard of him until Monday. (Jackson needs to hire Jones as his agent, because Jones has been talking him up nonstop).

Anyway, here are some of the one-liners from practice today.

“A.J., you get to play on the same field as an NFL linebacker!”

“This A.J. (Jackson) is a first-round draft pick; you’re a practice-squad guy.”

(To equipment man) “Can you get me a white football for this Saturday? My son wants to get Andrew Jackson’s autograph.”

* The theme of practice on Tuesday was “63.” That’s six seconds per play with three great efforts. Or something along those lines. Look for plenty of “63”  references on our practice video.

* Linebacker Curt Maggitt is no longer wearing a green non-contact jersey. That’s happened before, but with game week approaching, it might be more meaningful.

* Neither junior Marcus Jackson nor true freshman Dylan Wiesman played on Saturday, although both players went through practice normally on Tuesday and remained members of the second-team unit. That doesn’t mean a redshirt is a certainty for either player, but it does mean that it remains on the table as an option. And coaches probably decided they didn’t want to remove that option for a blowout against Austin Peay.

* Unless my eyes deceived me, Michael F. Williams and Michael L. Williams were the only two players in the injured area. Receiver Ryan Jenkins may be getting better, but he was wearing a scout team jersey on Tuesday.

Tennessee football practice: Vols return after a 2-day break

Tennessee running backs coach Robert Gillespie at practice on Aug. 22, 2013. (Photo by Evan Woodbery)

Tennessee running backs coach Robert Gillespie at practice on Aug. 22, 2013. (Photo by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — After 48 hours away from the practice fields, players returned on Thursday to higher expectations from coach Butch Jones.

“Nice and fresh!” he yelled. “You oughtta be nice and fresh.”

We’ll find out later if Jones noticed any rejuvenation. For now, here are some post-practice notes:

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Tennessee football practice: Notes from Sunday’s session at Haslam Field

Justin Worley

Tennessee quarterback Justin Worley takes a snap in practice on Aug. 18, 2013 at Haslam Field in Knoxville.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — One day after an open session at Neyland Stadium, the Vols were back on the normal practice fields.

A heavy morning rain gave way to some sunshine, so Tennessee stayed outdoors for the workout.

The Vols will have one more practice on Monday before taking off Tuesday and Wednesday to get players ready for the start of school. (Although as Butch Jones would point out, there are no true off-days. They just won’t practice).

Here’s what we learned from Sunday’s session:

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Tennessee football practice: Quick review of Monday’s session

Don Mahoney, Tennessee

Tennessee offensive line coach Don Mahoney instructs players during practice at Haslam Field on Aug. 5, 2013, in Knoxville. (Photos by Evan Woodbery)

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — Tennessee did some team work in the early session of Monday afternoon’s practice. The brief window offered few concrete details, but did reinforce how difficult it is for freshmen quarterbacks to win a starting job in August.

We’ll have more after we talk to coach Butch Jones and players later this evening.

* Among the notable plays from our view of the team work was a bad snap by third-string center Dylan Wiesman, a freshman, that sent quarterback Riley Ferguson scrambling after the ball.

Ferguson later threw an interception right in the numbers of safety Tino Thomas.

Co-third-team quarterback Josh Dobbs didn’t fare better, as he dropped a snap that hit off his hands in the last play we saw of the team drills before we had to leave for the evening.

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